Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 30 July 2018

The Swing

Winter in Western Australia can bring some beautiful clear sunny blue sky days, and so it was on Sunday afternoon when we took our grandsons down to the playground along Koombana Bay in Bunbury. This playground opened in early 2018 and since then has been very popular with families and a great place for picnics along the sheltered shores of this family friendly safe beach. 

While we were there a girl was swinging on one of the swings, and it brought to mind a song I used to sing as a child when I was swinging on our back yard swing. My Dad had built us the swing attached to the side of his shed. And I used to try and swing so high that my feet would be level with the roof of the shed. A bit like what this girl in the photo below appeared to be doing. Watching her took me back to those years.

How do you like to go up in a swing,
   Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
   Ever a child can do! 

Up in the air and over the wall,
   Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
   Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
   Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
   Up in the air and down!

The swing tree
After I came home I searched on the net for the words to the poem (though I knew it as a song) and discovered that the poem was written by Robert Louis Stevenson. I only knew of his works Treasure Island (which we had studied as a novel in first year high-school), and Kidnapped. I don't know if I really enjoyed reading about the adventures of Jim with the pirate Long John SIlver, but study it I did, and I still have my copy of this book. 

I didn't know until yesterday that Robert Louis Stevenson had also written children's verse. First editions can still be purchased.

" First published in 1885, the first printing of A Child's Garden of Verses ran 1000 copies by Longhaus, Green and Co in London. This book was not illustrated until the 1896 edition, published 2 years after Stevenson's death. The collection contains about 65 poems, and many of the poems, including “The Land of Counterpane,” take a positive perspective on Stevenson's own childhood which was plagued by sickness. He dedicated the work to his nurse Alison Cunningham. 

Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, musician and travel writer. (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) Although he died at just forty four years old and suffered from ill health the majority of his life he managed to travel and write extensively in that short period. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Kidnapped, and A Child's Garden of Verses."

Since then the book has been illustrated many times. One of the earliest illustrated editions was in 1905, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith, it had a coloured illustrated title page and 12 full page colour plates, plus line drawings throughout.

How glorious are these illustrations!  I cannot confirm if the line drawing below is by Jessie Willcox Smith, but the colour illustration are.

Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith

Clicking on the link will take you to a selection of the poems.  A Child's Garden of Verse

And to finish a quote from the man himself - 

I couldn't find on You Tube the version of the "song" that I knew, but I rather like this version - with music by Linda Trillhaase

Thank you so much for stopping by. Did you know that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote poetry? Did you enjoy swinging as a child? Do you still swing? I think I need to ask my son to erect a granny style swing under the trees at his new place - no swinging my legs up high for me now though!

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Monday 23 July 2018

My 10 year blogging anniversary

In July 2008 I made my first hesitant steps into blogging. This was partly as a way of promoting my photography and publicising articles I'd written as a freelance journalist, and partly in the hopes of being "discovered". I shudder a bit now as I look back over those first steps into blogging. I really had no idea what I was doing. 

I hope over the last 10 years my blogging has improved. I know it has changed over time, and now encompasses travel, mostly Western Australia travel, photography - travel, food, wildflowers, lifestyle, and a few "how toos", recipes and photography tips. 

In that first 6 months of blogging I only wrote 10 posts and in 2009 only 8 posts! I certainly wasn't going to be "discovered" at that rate. 

It has been interesting in writing this post to look over my past 10 years of blogging. 
So I thought I would share with you a brief summary of those 10 years. You can click on the links to go to individual posts, or just go to my Blog Archive in the side panel, or the Index in the top tabs if you are looking for a particular topic. 

2008 - 10 posts -
You can click on the link here to read my first post 19 July 2008: Walking the Bibbulmun Track  which was a short excerpt from an article I had written for Go Camping magazine published in the winter 2008 edition, about a short walk I did with 63 year old, "End to Ender" Bernard Glasson from Perth and my friend Trish Gibbs from Donnybrook.

2009 -  8 posts - 
My "marathon" eight posts still tended to promote my latest magazine articles, like this one in January 2009 - "African Experience Soft Option" - an excerpt from my article in Australian Vital magazine from May 2004 about our amazing stay in Jackalberry Lodge in the Thornybush Nature Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park in South Africa. Undoubtedly one of our best, if not the best, international trip we have ever done. 

Comments on my posts were thin in the ground, I certainly wasn't being "discovered".

I updated the pics on this article a few years later and even managed to receive a comment, (woo hoo! I got a comment!!), from my blogging friend Joe Castro at Lifestyle Fifty. Thanks Jo for your support in this blogging world over the years. It's a tough world out there in blogland, and we bloggers need to stick together.

2010 - and 12 posts. 
Looking back, my early posts were little more than a few words, accompanied by a few photos. They've changed a bit since then.

In May 2010 I started contributing to the linky party Mosaic Monday. Mary who was running the linky party back then was so encouraging about my photography and Mosaic Monday gave me the opportunity to link with other bloggers all over the world, make new connections and hopefully receive comments to my blog. I've been contributing ever since. Thank you so much Mary.

Here is that first post, not much of a post and I don't know where the Mosaic was. Just as well my blogging improved.  Dreaming of France - Little Red House Mosaic Monday

2011 - 70 posts!!! - it seems like I stepped up the pace.

2011 was the start of my early delvings into food photography when I started working a 4 day week and had a day to myself to indulge. Every Monday my husband would come home from work expecting to eat what I'd cooked for my latest food photography project. It was my passion back then, and I did lots of food photography. I thought food photography might become my career, but somewhere along the way it hasn't happened, although I have had a few food photo gigs.

2012 - 64 posts - you can click here to see my round up for 2012 
In 2012 I had my first outings with my camera in an underwater housing.
And an emotional time with the passing of my mother in July.

2013 - 49  posts - 
I think I realised that blogging once a week was as much as I could handle. 2013 was the year that I joined the Photography Group of Bunbury and a new journey through photography started. 

2013 also seemed to be a year of travel - in Western Australia along the remote Holland Track and then a 6 week trip through South Australia. We also took our family to Singapore.

Garden by the Bay, Singapore
I even managed a cover shot from the Holland Track on the Go Camping Australia magazine.  August-September 2013 edition.

2014 - 45  posts
2014 turned out a lot different to what we expected, as we watched my father and my husband's mother slowly fade away.  During 2014 I was doing a 365 challenge - one photo a day for 365 days - and I know I found a comforting focus and solace in my picture taking during the heart breaking family times during 2014.

In July we managed a road trip up to the Pilbara, where we met up with a couple from Busselton who are now close friends. And in October we took a trip to Penang, which had been booked earlier in the year, and now came at a perfect time as I mourned the passing of my father. 

In 2014 I opened my "business page" - Life Images by Jill - on Facebook. I've learnt over time that Facebook is necessary these days for businesses. If you are on Facebook I'd love you to hop over and "like" my page. Thanks! :)

I was also invited to join the team at Communal Global. A collection of women from all around the world who host a linky party "Wednesday Around the World". 

2015 - 49 posts
Early in 2015 I was offered redundancy at my place of employment, and I was happy to accept, and helped along by a small inheritance from my father, I retired from paid employment. This allowed me time and space to explore other things I had been wanting to do - mainly in photography and arts. Some of these art explorations were through the Stirling Street Arts Centre, and the free workshops run at our local library. This has been the best part of my retirement, exploring arts, which had been somewhat put on hold during my working and child rearing years. 

I always remember that my Mother had done beautiful art work and sang and played the banjo when she was younger. Unfortunately she seemed to have given these up after marrying my Dad. I don't want to be like that.

I know my Dad would have been pleased that I had retired. 

 There was more travel around Western Australia, and I was also excited to be involved in a local book project - Ferguson Valley Plated - launched in October 2015, through a collaboration with Kim Wesley from Peppermint Lane Lodge. What an inspiring dynamite Kim is, the way she had that book organised and published in under 6 months was truly amazing.

I was also involved in the 25th Anniversary show with my Spanish Flamenco group - Sol y Sombra. What a huge night it was and first time I had ever been on stage like this.
2016 - 46 posts
Reading my last post for 2016 it seems like I was reflecting on the sorrows people in my life were going through, and all that I had to be grateful for - good health, family, friends, groups that I am involved with, and the travel which we are able to enjoy. 

In January I was introduced by Jane Flower from Folios and Fibre into the wonderful world of Eco-dyeing with leaves through a workshop I did with Jane at the Stirling Street Arts Centre summer school.   A couple of years on this art has become an absorbing passion.

And in March I started up my page at Red Bubble, promoting my photography through the range of products that Red Bubble sells. You can even buy leggings!

My husband retired from teaching in the first part of 2016 after 40 years in the profession.  After the last 6 months pleasing myself with what I did with my day, was there room in my days for him? But his retirement has given us the opportunity to reconnect.  

And there was time for reflection: Ease your stress by following your passion in life

It was also a year for travel. We took a return trip to Coral Bay in May and then along the Gibb River Road in our remote Kimberley region of Western Australia in July/August, and in November my husband and I went to Rottnest Island - just off the coast from Fremantle, and for me my first visit to this historical holiday island. 

  In August my writer's group launched their first anthology - The Runaway Quill.

Encouraged by various friends, I took my first steps into Instagram  in December 2016. I post irregularly and I'm still not sure what it is all about and what all those followers really mean. Do you do Instagram? What's your experience of it? 

2017 - 42 posts
2017 started with my being grateful for life in the retirement fast-lane. This post certainly resonated with many in a similar age-bracket.  

And a trip to Sydney, Australia.

And I found inspiration at the Tree Street Art Safari, the International Women's Day talks, the Dardanup Art Spectacular and Art Trail, and TedX Bunbury.

And more opportunities for travel, camping, exploring and taking photos through our amazing state of Western Australia. Hunting for wild orchids

I was also one of the contributing photographers to a new book put together by my friend - another inspiring dynamite - Catherine Curnow - who donated the proceeds of the book to a local family whose daughter suffered a life changing injury.  The Photo Book of Bunbury -  Loving Where We Live - Glimpses of Bunbury through the eyes of the locals.

And to top the year off - in November 2017 I was awarded the Colour Image of the Year Award at the Photography Group of Bunbury, with this image I took when walking along our local estuary, which was entered in the April topic "Breaking the Rules". I was also runner-up in the Photographer of the Year on accumulated points from the monthly club exhibition nights. 

And so to 2018 - so far 29 posts
As each new year dawns, I wonder what the year will bring. So 2018 began with a question - What will your inspiration be in 2018?

Life continues to be inspiring. I attended the International Womens Day event entitled "Identity and Transition", and hosted by the South West Women's Health and Information Centre. What a wonderful and inspiring group of women speakers and attendees came together that day.

I had a very successful day exhibiting at the Tree Street Art Safari in March, and was surprised, thrilled and overwhelmed to win the "Emerging Artist Award" at the Dardanup Art Spectacular in May, with this leaf print on paper.
 I've had some work this year relieving in our local primary school library which I've very much enjoyed, and my husband has had some teaching work. It is great travel spending money. During the month of May we enjoyed a trip to Spain, Malta and Italy. You can see various posts about our travel on my blog.  I'm still working through sorting the thousands of photos.

 I wonder what the rest of the year will bring. Be sure I will blog about it here as my blog is in many ways a journal of my life, travel and photography. 

The other day I found a quote in Kate Morton's book, The Lake House, that resonated with me.  "Life was like that, doors of possibility constantly opening and closing as one blindly made one's way through."  Through my own life, I know this to be true. I've certainly never felt like I've had any particular plan.  As John Lennon said "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans".

Along my blogging journey I have met many wonderful bloggers, women mostly, from all over the world, and my readership and comments have increased.  But I wonder sometimes what is it all about - this writing, reading, commenting - it can be stressful at times and sometimes I feel that all this social media is taking me away from the creative side of me that is trying to find time between it all to do other things.  But I know these connections are important to me too. But I guess in all things we need balance, and try not to let blogging and social media take over our lives. There are other things that should be placed in higher importance like family and being true to ourselves.

What strikes me the most is despite our cultural backgrounds, and no matter where we live, women are going through similar issues.
Making contacts through blogging creates a little “community” which we might never have had. I have discovered that the posts that create the most interest and feedback are when I talk about real life issues and circumstances.
Being truthful really connects with women, who then are willing to share back to you what they have gone through. Perhaps being slightly “anonymous” helps us be more open.

I am certainly grateful for the host of inspiring women that have come into my life over the last few years. And to all those people who have encouraged me and visit me at my blog and social media pages. Thank you for helping me feel that I am contributing something "relevant".

I hope you have enjoyed reminiscing with me over the past 10 years, and that you will stop by again and meet me on the porch.

 Thank you so much for stopping by and thank you to you the reader, my contacts, my little community, who make this blogging life mean something. 
I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life in Reflection

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

If you are a blogger you can link to Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global right here!